Transplanted New York film critic Mitch Berger is discovering a whole new world in the idyllic atmosphere of wealthy Dorset, Connecticut, with his new love, resident state trooper Desiree Mitry. Beautiful, bright, and independent-minded, Des has transferred out of her position as the highest-ranking black woman in the state police homicide department to give more time to the art for which she has a sure talent.
Shortly after Mitch's encounter with "Hangtown" Frye in the town dump, his new friend suffers the worst blow of his life - his beloved daughter "Moose" is killed when her sister's car, which she was driving, explodes. It's soon clear that the explosion was no accident, and Des, being more familiar with the community than the state cop in charge, takes an advisory part in the investigation.
As one of the few Dorset citizens with whom Frye will have any truck, Mitch is involved in two directions - as a good friend willing to help around the dilapidated farmhouse that is Frye's ancestral home, and as the devoted, if unlikely, lover of the police officer unofficially but very actively on the case.
Meanwhile, the old town is coming to a boil over the question of a new public elementary school. It will be built with contributions from a developer who has nothing but good intentions for the education of the local children, and who is not-so-coincidentally proposing a program of healthy outdoor living for those who can afford the homes he will build on the old school property. Hangtown and Mitch are among those who are suspicious of the developer's promises. And in a climax that is as thrilling as a tour through an amusement-park haunted house, the film critic and his policewoman's love is tested by danger.
Original title: The Hot Pink Farmhouse
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ General